The following is a guest post from Morgan Deane, researcher on warfare and the Book of Mormon. Today we have seen many comments all over the internet criticizing the too-eager celebration of Bin Laden’s, (or any human being’s) death. Deane gives another viewpoint informed by his reading of Latter-day scripture and modern music.
I had trouble sleeping last night due to the huge news. In a daring military raid Osama Bin Laden was killed by U.S. soldiers. I recalled these scriptures in 3 Nephi 4:
12And notwithstanding the threatenings and the oaths which Giddianhi had made, behold, the Nephites did beat them, insomuch that they did fall back from before them.
13And it came to pass that Gidgiddoni commanded that his armies should pursue them as far as the borders of the wilderness, and that they should not spare any that should fall into their hands by the way; and thus they did pursue them and did slay them, to the borders of the wilderness, even until they had fulfilled the commandment of Gidgiddoni.
14And it came to pass that Giddianhi, who had stood and fought with boldness, was pursued as he fled; and being weary because of his much fighting he was overtaken and slain. And thus was the end of Giddianhi the robber.
I love “reading between the lines” of these verses. Verse 12 mocks the military strength of the robber “notwithstanding their [threats]”, and then mocks their leader who “fought with boldness” as he “fled”. And finally, the rather matter of fact delivery that recalls President Obama’s somber announcement: “And thus was the end of Giddianhi the robber”.
My highest compliments go to the troops and the best tribute I can offer involves a classic Metallica song. The local radio station played this the day Saddam’s sons were killed. It felt appropriate then, and feels even more so now. Osama Bin Laden was a coward that killed innocent people. The world is a better place without him.
Metallica’s “Seek and Destroy”: